Heading into the 2012 draft, high on the Rams list of needs was a change of pace RB. The Rams thought they had found their man in Isaiah Pead. Little did they know, they would select their true change of pace back one day later in the 7th round.
Daryl Richardson has been a revelation this year. He has provided a much needed explosive element to the Rams running game, giving the team an added dimension to their offense. Most importantly, he has spelled Steven Jackson, keeping the veteran fresh for late in the season.
I believe this added dimension that Richardson brings will be a large part of the Rams' gameplan this weekend. In my video below I highlight some of Richardson's top qualities, and how they can help against the 49ers defense. One area in particular is in the passing game. Screens and check-downs to Richardson could pay big dividends this weekend. We shall see.
With all of this taken into account, I still don't believe Richardson is a true "bell-cow" back. He will need some help next year and beyond. I hope that the player that helps him looks like an affordable Steven Jackson. If not, it will have to be determined if Isiah Pead can do the job.
If that still makes you uneasy - as it does me - look for the Rams to add a veteran or high draft pick as a SJ39 replacement. I would say I'm 50/50 on Jackson's return. It will really depend on whether or not Steven wants to play in St. Louis for equal pay that he could likely receive elsewhere. Here's hoping.